Sunday, April 21, 2013


The Independent informs us the 5th edition of the ever growing Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders now includes shyness and bereavement :

SHYNESS, bereavement and eccentric behavior could be classed as a mental illness under new guidelines, leaving millions of people at risk of being diagnosed as having a psychiatric disorder, experts fear. Under changes planned to the diagnosis handbook used by doctors in the US, common behavioral traits are likely to be listed as a mental illness, it was reported. The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders could also include internet addiction and gambling as a medical problem.[link]

The DSM has long been accused to facilitating condition branding for large pharmaceutical companies. Condition branding is the redefining ordinary behavioral traits as disorders and creating links between disorder and treatment in the minds of both patients and doctors. So Social Anxiety Disorder, otherwise known as shyness, is now an condition treatable by GlaxoSmithKline's drug Paxil, originally a drug developed as yet another anti-depressant with the unfortunate side affect of 'suicidal ideation'.

It seems that in our age of the individuality where consumer choice is king, the only individuality allowed is the right to choose between the brand of your runners or the flavor your coffee. Anything else is considered a disorder or abnormality that prevents the self-realization into the glamorous man or women with the shinny teeth, the athletic figure, the engaging friends and the fulfilling job.

But I think we like the introspection and the endless struggle for happiness, the endless struggle for fitness, the optimum diet, the perfect relationship, the worry over our mental health and the constant regulation of our thoughts through positive psychology. I think we can find meaning and satisfaction through struggle. It certainty keeps the depression of nihilism at bay.

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